We are all mixed up! I consider myself lucky that everyone I meet thinks that I am their nationality. On one hand it is important to know your roots, background, and culture. On the other hand, we are all unique, so our face and skin are only part of the story. I grew up in Miami, and no matter what color your hair or skin is, everyone is considered 100% Cuban. In Los Angeles, I am mostly thought of as Persian or Latina. When people find out I was born in Moscow, some say that I look Russian, and the funny thing is by Russian standards I am considered black. My father was born in Chechnya, Jewish people have been there since the Persian empire, not anymore. It is located near Turkey and Iran, and my family spoke a language called Mountain Jewish, that is a mix between Farsi, Turkish, and Hebrew.
I do know that I am 100% Jewish, and I am not talking about religion. My family and everyone else in the former Soviet Union was forbidden from practicing their faith, it was illegal and landed people in jail. Also on our Passport our nationality was listed at Hebrew, the Russian word for Jewish. Around Europe and the rest of the world Jews are considered their own tribe, only in America is it misunderstood as only a religion. There are many conversations now about race, and Jews span across the globe, but were originally all from the Middle East, and specifically Israel where they lived among Muslims and Christian Arabs. I love knowing my history, and I love knowing your history, but most of all I love going beyond the superficial and getting to know each person’s unique, individual story.
My Multiple Looks:
- Because of my name, Yulia, Russian
- American Indian
- From India
- Every Latin Country
- Middle Eastern in general
I am always surprised when there is a new nationality that I look like, and I love it!
May we embrace our everything,